Wenger relieved after victory

The Gunners endured a nervy time en route to a 3-1 aggregate win

over Udinese, with Antonio Di Natale cancelling out their

first-half lead before Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott secured a

2-1 victory on the night which ensured their side’s passage.

Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny also saved Di Natale’s penalty, in

between the two Arsenal goals, after Thomas Vermaelen was harshly

penalised for handball. Wenger told ITV1: “(There is) relief of

course, we don’t want to go out – and pride as well, because we had

our backs to the wall and responded very well in the second half.

“There was only one team in the second half – Wojciech saved the

penalty, which was very generous, but we played a great game

tonight. “It showed that under pressure this team can respond with

football, remain calm and composed and try to play like we can. We

had a great belief in the way we want to play. “There are many

questions around our club, if we had gone out tonight it would have

been much worse. It was important not financially, like many people

have said, but more for the fact we want to play at the top level.”

Speculation has surrounded Arsenal’s ability and intent to compete

in the transfer market ahead of next Wednesday’s deadline, but

Wenger said: “We work very hard, I have said that many times, but

we have many players out as well so I think we can be very positive

as well. “There may be signings but I cannot give you any names

tonight. I cannot lie and say we sign somebody tomorrow.”